When considering bankruptcy, a high number of filers are looking over credit problems such as harassment, wage garnishment, foreclosure, and repossession. First, filing bankruptcy is not your only option. You can file for a variety of reasons, but the purpose of bankruptcy is to discharge debt. If debts are your problem, and creditors are harassing you, bankruptcy is wise. But how can you protect your rights before, during, and after the bankruptcy? This guide will help. Calling Protection If a creditor is calling you too early or too late, you can sue. The general guideline is that, if they call before or 8 AM or after 9 PM, they are breaking the law. If creditors are calling you at work, all you need do is verbally or in writing explain you want no more calls at work. Finally, you can write a letter to the creditor asking them to stop contacting you; by law they must. How do you write the letter? This letter is important so let's go into more detail. You don't just write a quick letter and send it. It need not be a time consuming process; write a letter stating quite simply to cease making contact with you via phone, mail, or other means. Once you write the letter, make copies, then send a certified letter (so you have proof) to the creditor. With a certified letter, if they say they never received it, you have both copies of the original letter on hand and a delivery confirmation. What if they call someone else? A creditor does have the right to contact others, such as your boss, but only for basic information such as your address or phone number. If they call your boss and explain you owe money, that is harassment. If you hire a lawyer, they can contact him or her, but no longer you. What if it's a false debt? Sometimes the debt is wrong: you owe no money to this creditor. In order to protect yourself, immediately reply explaining you owe nothing on the debt. Now, if the creditor has proof you owe money, they can make a copy of the bill and send it to you. If they do so and the bill is valid, you can use the above tips to stop any harassment. If Creditor Harassment is Occurring If you are being harassed, it's time to review your rights and consider consulting with a lawyer. Threatening you, making false claims, saying you'll be arrested, contacting your family, giving false creditor information - these are all against the law. You need a lawyer, and to consider your options. Your Lawyer While you sometimes can handle one or two debts owed, quite often getting legal help is wise. This is especially smart if you are considering bankruptcy to discharge the debts and be free of the harassment. A lawyer is a must if creditor harassment you know is illegal occurs. The Bankruptcy Option Bankruptcy can be one of the most effective ways to get protection from creditors. If you fear foreclosure, for example, you might try to discharge some debts so you can catch up on the mortgage. If wage garnishment is a threat being used against you, bankruptcy can put an automatic stay to stop all collections against you. You have a chance to be free of the debt if you hire the right legal representation and protect your own rights.
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